Recovery of listed species is the cornerstone and ultimate purpose of our Endangered Species Program. It is the process by which listed species are recovered and their future safeguarded to the point that protections under the ESA are no longer needed. Watch this short narrated slideshow on Recovery. We work with a variety of partners to recover endangered and threatened species. Recovery tools include restoring and protecting habitat, reducing bycatch of listed species during commercial fishing activities, removing non-native invasive species, and breeding species in captivity for release into their historic range once threats have been addressed.
Collaboration is critical to achieving recovery. Recovery often hinges on Federal, State, and local agencies, International governments, Tribal governments, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, landowners, and other concerned citizens working together.
We are responsible for the following activities:
Planning: We prepare recovery plans for listed species. Recovery plans identify and prioritize actions necessary to conserve a species in the short-term and ultimately recover a species. The plans synthesize the best available information about the species’ life history, habitat requirements, and threats. Click here to see recovery plans for species in Alaska.
Conservation Activities: We collaborate with many partners to carry out the actions identified in recovery plans. See what we are doing for short-tailed albatross.
Issue Recovery Permits: We issue recovery permits that allow people to work with listed species in a research or management capacity. Actions that are permitted must improve our ability to recover listed species.
Monitor and assess:We monitor and conduct assessments (such as 5-year reviews) that track species’ status and threats over time.
Change Species’ ESA Status: We downlist species’ status from endangered to threatened as populations increase or threats are addressed. Likewise we reclassify their status from threatened to endangered as threats increase or populations decline. A proposed rule to downlist wood bison from endangered to threatened can be viewed here.
Delist: We delist species when their status improves to the point of recovery and they can be removed from the threatened and endangered species list. Recovery is measured not only by population health, but also by assurance that threats are addressed.
After a species has recovered and is removed from the threatened and endangered species list, we monitor that species for a minimum of 5 years to ensure the population is secure. As a result of recovery actions three species that occur in Alaska have been delisted: the Aleutian Canada Goose (Branta canadensis leucopareia)( 2001); the Arctic peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus tundrius) (1994), and the American peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum) (1999).
Links to more information about Recovery:
Our National Recovery Program Overview website has more detailed information about the Recovery process, including policies and guidelines.
5-year reviews for species found in Alaska
Recovery plans or planning efforts for species found in Alaska
The Endangered Species Act provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife, and plants.